Happy Thai Pongal 2013 – Harvest festival of Tamils

Today is Thai Pongal, the Harvest festival celebrated by majority of Tamil speaking people in countries all around the world (Indians, Sri Lankans, Indonesians and so on). So here’s wishing you all a Happy Thai Pongal, from London. Best wishes. -Mani.

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Happy Thai Pongal.

That’s what Tamils and other Indians who celebrate this festival say to one another at this time.

It’s the same as wishing someone `Happy New Year’ – because for farmers in Indian countries, this is actually a new year. Well, not just for farmers – it is the beginning of the new calendar for Tamils and marks the first day of the new year.  Thai is the name of the first month.

The rituals for Thai Pongal involve people clearing their homes of clutter and old unwanted items (sometimes burning them), sweeping of the whole house and washing the floors (if cement or concrete), then purifying the home with ringing of bells, incense and so on. On the day of Pongal, all household members will rise early, look to the rising Sun and make a prayer, then take a bath / shower (anointing themselves with special water…

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